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by Brown, Jennifer

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Alex is looking for something real-more real than her distant father, who never speaks in complete sentences, more real than the faded memories of her mother, who died on the night she was leaving her family, even more real than her two best friends and their plan for a graduation trip to Colorado. She thinks she has found what she has been looking for in Cole, the new boy at school whom she has been assigned to tutor. Alex is flattered when he shows interest in her, and he rapidly becomes her entire world. As she tries to balance her friends and Cole, her life begins to unravel. Bethany and Zack do not like Cole, and he does not want to share her. His increasing jealousy leads to escalating abuse, both physical and verbal. Her friends and coworkers know something is wrong, but Alex covers for him because she loves him and believes him when he says that he is going to change. When a former girlfriend comes to talk to her about Cole's abuse of her and others, and tells her that he and his family moved because of her lawsuit against him, Alex finally admits that her boyfriend is an abuser. That night he is waiting at her car after work and beats her until she is certain she is going to die. Thanks to the intervention of her boss she survives and begins the long road to recovery. Gritty and disturbing, this novel should be in all collections serving teens. It could be used in programs about abuse, as well as in psychology or sociology classes.-Suanne Roush, Osceola High School, Seminole, FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list When Alex and new-guy Cole hit it off during their tutoring sessions, Alex can't believe her good fortune. Not only is Cole sweet, gorgeous, and fun but he knows exactly how to make her feel special. He wants to be where she is, even watching her while she works at the Bread Bowl. He cares enough to be jealous of her best friends, Zack and Bethany, especially Zack. He is certainly different from her still grieving, emotionless father! Many readers will spot Cole's ultimately abusive tendencies early on, but Bitter End is rarely didactic, and Brown draws on her professional psychology background to create a nuanced novel that will help young readers explore not only why women allow themselves to be abused but how love factors into their inertia in seeking help. Brown creates multifaceted characters as well as realistic, insightful descriptions of Alex's emotions, and readers will empathize with Alex's terrifying decision to cut all ties before Cole harms her further. A tough but important addition to the YA romance shelves.--Bradburn, France. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Haunted by the death of her mother many years earlier in a car accident, Alex has long dreamed of visiting the Colorado mountains that were her mother's destination. Alex and BFFs Bethany and Zack are gearing up for a cross-country road trip to Colorado as a graduation present when Alex falls for Cole, a new senior who seems to understand her in ways no one has before-and who is prone to violent rages. As in The Hate List, Brown demonstrates an expert ability to handle difficult subject matter. Cole's brutal abuse and manipulations, Alex's inability to disclose her battering (and her willingness to make excuses for Cole), and Bethany and Zack's frustration and fear all feel entirely authentic. The book's power-and its value-comes from the honest portrayal of characters who simply can't figure out how to bring an ugly, evident truth to light. Brown's deliberate pacing and the gradual unveiling of Cole's nature make the story, and Cole and Alex's relationship, feel akin to a train gathering momentum, one whose destruction is as assured as it is tragic. Ages 15-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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by Susan A. Shea

Book list This playful picture book asks children to consider which things grow and which stay the same. The rhyming text pairs two choices on each double-page spread. Lifting the large, die-cut flap on the right-hand page reveals the answer. The questions suggest analogies, but their absurdity is often amusing. If an owlet grows and becomes an owl, / can a washcloth grow and become . . . lift up the page flap a towel. After posing a series of questions where the answer is inevitably no, Shea turns the tables by asking. If a joey grows and becomes a kangaroo, / can a baby grow and become . . . pull down the page flap you. Slaughter's striking illustrations, collages of solid-color and painted papers, use simple forms and bold colors to create animals and objects that are easy to identify. With its eye-catching design and interactive text, this picture book is fun to read aloud and fine for introducing science units on the concept of living and nonliving things.--Phelan, Caroly. Copyright 2010 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-This standout concept book is engaging, fun, and interactive. It begins by explaining that, "Some things grow/like you and me./Others stay the way/they're made./Until they crack, or rust,/or fade." Simple, spare rhyming text flows smoothly with illustrations that follow on pages that include die cuts and flaps; "If a kitten grows,/becomes a cat,/can a cap grow and become. a hat?" The answers are provided at the end. Layers of painted paper collage are done in a brightly colored palette, including end pages with bold paintbrush stripes in primary and secondary colors. White space is creatively used, but the flaps and die cuts steal the show. For example, the spread featuring snakes in saturated black, yellow, and green pops on the white background. A pickup truck grows to be a rig when the flap is opened. The flatbed becomes the trailer enhanced with a pattern that resembles the American flag. Readers will be challenged by the questions and some unusual words for the names of a few baby animals: a kit, an owlet, a kid, and a joey. This clever title begs for multiple readings and will be a favorite in storytimes or in one-on-one settings. Spot-on.-Anne Beier, Clifton Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Slaughter's brightly colored cut-paper shapes and newcomer Shea's verse recall favorites of 50 years ago-a feeling reinforced by this book's matte pages, blocky images, and fun-to-flip gatefolds. "If a duckling grows/ and becomes a duck,/ can a car grow and become..." reads the text on facing pages; children will be able to guess what's coming even before the gatefold opens-"a truck?" Slaughter (Which Way?) revels in paint-box primaries, pushing reds, greens, yellows, and blues up against each other for maximum visual charge. The gatefolds break in interesting places-halfway down a garment hanging on a hanger, for example, turning a floral sweater into a full-length coat-and contain the occasional die-cut, too. Shea's verses scan consistently and gracefully. "YES to ducks, bears, and owls./ NO to trucks, chairs, and towels," she writes, reinforcing the idea that living things grow but inanimate objects don't. The beauty of the rhymes is that they teach a lesson children already know; children will relish the fun of being sure of all the answers, and they'll love Shea's tongue-in-cheek tone. Ages 4-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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